Why are people fearful of GMOs?

I answered that question and others like it for Roberto Ferdman in a piece at the Washington Post.

Here's one excerpt

Ok, let’s talk about the future now. Would you say that we have hit the peak of GMO aversion?

You know, I actually have no idea. These things are really hard to predict. Much harder than most people realize.

Let’s suppose you had some really large food safety scare, which touched GMO crops even tangentially. That would sway opinions incredibly quickly. Now that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen, and I certainly don’t think it will, but it’s not out of the question.

The other way it could go, however, is that someone introduces a biotech crop that captures the public’s imagination but doesn’t scare them. That way, people warm up to a GMO crop that is more approachable, and in doing so, become desensitized to the bizarreness or strangeness about GMO crops that they once felt.

A perfect example is this new arctic apple, which doesn’t brown. Especially if it isn’t made by some big agricultural behemoth, like Monsanto.

But people might also just realize that most of the cheese they eat is made with enzymes that are genetically engineered. Diabetics, after all, use insulin that is made from a genetically engineered bacteria or yeast.